A question of pocket money

Every now and then I read about people wondering when they should start giving their tweens pocket money. And in my opinion, if you’re asking when to give TWEENS pocket money, you’re already way too late.

All of my kids had pocket money from the age of 4 – £2 a week.

As a result, they are all very good with money. It is their money and they can choose to save it or they can choose to spend it.

They know that if they want anything, they have three choices – save for it, wait until your birthday or wait until Christmas. They know not to ask for it because they know we won’t buy it for them. Apart from essential clothing, school stuff etc, they buy everything themselves. That’s the way it has always been and they have never known any different.

And it really works! My kids understand the value of money and the cost of things. They know if they buy little things every week that they will never be able to afford anything big. Likewise, they know if they want something big, they have to save for it and eventually it will be theirs. Kids appreciate things so much more if they’ve taken the time to save and waited for it, sometimes for months.

My eldest is the spender. He never holds on to money for long and can never think long-term. If he sees something, he usually buys it there and then, forgetting any longer-term aims he may have had in favour of the quick win.

My younger son is the saver. He has something in mind that he wants and he saves until he gets it. This boy bought a laptop at the age of 7, a second-hand Xbox at the age of 10 and a DS just before Christmas last year (he didn’t want to wait until Christmas and he didn’t need to, because he had the money).

My daughter is the hoarder. She has nothing in particular to save for and she worries about ‘wasting’ money. She will always think very carefully about any purchase and then usually reject it, for fear of her money going down. As a result, she usually has between £150 and £200 to her name. She has recently discovered a love of shopping and has started to spend bits on clothes and accessories, but is still careful not to let her money drop below £150.

I have increased their pocket money a bit since they were 4. When my eldest went to secondary school, we increased his to £3, then when my younger son went to secondary school, we increased both boys’ pocket money to £4 and my daughter’s to £3. My younger son chooses to spend £1 a week of his money on extra data for his phone.

When my daughter starts secondary school in September, I think we will probably increase the younger kids’ pocket money to £5 a week each, with them both spending £1 a week on data. As my eldest will be going into 6th form, I think £10 will be an appropriate amount for him. With this, he will be expected to fund all of his days and nights out. Hopefully he will also have a part-time job by then. He is already earning extra cash from time to time by feeding neighbours’ pets when they go away.

Giving my kids pocket money has really worked for them and for us. I’m sure that by giving them their own budgets we have not only taught them the value of money, but also saved ourselves a lot of money over the years by not buying things for them on impulse.

What do you think? Do you give your kids regular pocket money? How much do you give them?

A question of pocket money, Pocket money, Money, Cash, Kids

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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22 Comments

  1. We have given pocket money from an early age too and we encourage saving up for things that H wants to buy. I think in time we will need to increase it, but say it has to cover more things, so he does more budgeting.

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    • It’s such a good idea to do it. My eldest is starting to pay for more of his days out with friends now. He very rarely asks for money for those. What he doesn’t know is that if he asked, I might actually say yes! 😉

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  2. Ooh I love this idea. Z gets pocket money and he’s such a hoarder. His money box is full to the brim always. He’s forever wanting to give it to people too!

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    • Bless him, that’s lovely! He sounds a lot like my daughter. She will usually give a bit of her money to Children in Need and Comic Relief completely of her own accord.

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  3. Our 9 year old gets £3 a week and our 14 year old gets £5 a week. We’ve started putting the money directly into bank accounts for them. It works okay for my 14 year old as she has a debit card and can use it but for my 9 year old it’s a child’s account so there’s no easy access or way of checking the amounts. It then means he’s lost the connection with the money so while he’s saving it’s backfired in the sense of making him aware. I can see the benefits though of giving them money earlier (we didn’t until late) so my two younger ones will start when they start school. Great post!

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    • Thanks very much! We’ve recently started paying all of our kids’ money into the bank too. As my daughter is 11, she can have a card, but she hasn’t actually used it yet. She still prefers to keep her money at home, but I didn’t want that much cash hanging around!
      I never know if I’m giving my kids the ‘right’ amount of money, so I’m pleased to see you give a similar amount to us.

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  4. My girls get £5 a week but can earn extra by helping around the house….My teen is a spender and my youngest is the saver. They have learned the value of money…

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    • £5 is a good amount. It makes me wonder if I’m not giving my kids enough! My eldest used to earn extra doing the hoovering and cutting the grass. Although he liked the money, he didn’t actually like doing the work. Now he keeps getting extra money for feeding the neighbours’ pets, so he doesn’t need the housework money any more. Sadly that means I’m back to doing it myself 🙁

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  5. How on Earth have you managed to be so disciplined? To say I am impressed is an understatement. Thke kids are supposed ot get money for doing chores or doing well at school. Thing is, we often forget to give them anything which is bad!

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    • Thanks very much! It’s how I was brought up, so it seemed the natural thing to do with my kids. I must admit I get slightly horrified when I see parents just buying their kids stuff because it just doesn’t happen in our house! We might appear mean, but it’s been really good for them.

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  6. We’re very similar to you with £2.50 per week for all three (need to increase the boy’s I think). Option to earn more with chores. They have GoHenry accounts which means I can pay money direct to them, add extra for chores and they can keep track on the app of what they have. I pay a little each month for the accounts but I think it’s worth it as it’s really online banking and they get cards which they can use in shops or online etc

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    • The GoHenry accounts look interesting. My kids have all got bank accounts with cards now, although my daughter would still much rather have her cash at home! I’d happily pay more for chores, but nobody wants to do them at the moment 🙁

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  7. Yep, I think pocket money is a great idea. We started doing it with my eldest but we forget and she doesn’t think to remind us. We’ll have to start again, I like the idea of teaching them the value of money.
    Nat.x

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    • It’s a really great way of teaching them the value of money. Your eldest will have to start reminding you!

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  8. We don’t give much pocket money, they usually earn some from football. We should, but I always find I need change for lunches so take it and mark it on a bit of paper. I am terrible for that. We have one good at saving and one good at spending xx

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    • I remember the weekend scrabble around for change every week! It was always a challenge. We’ve been paying for lunches online for a couple of years now and we’ve recently started paying the kids’ pocket money into the bank too. x

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  9. N doesn’t have pocket money, and similarly we didn’t when we were his age. My mum just bought everything although we didn’t really have treats. We did however then have a contract for room tidying to get our pocket money, and money would then go into the school bank accounts we had each week, or just into a normal account when older. Birthday money would go into national savings. I used mine to pay for an A clarinet, money towards a saxophone and a racer bike I wanted.

    With N, he vaguely gets wages when someone has money and gives him some for helping on the farm. But it’s sporadic (otherwise they’d be skint because he’s always on the farm). He has rewards for doing chores and tasks, but rarely does these – he understands that he has to work towards the longer term reward, but he’d just rather not at the moment. I do struggle to get him to help with tasks I ask him to do, although he’ll randomly help with other things.

    At the moment he doesn’t look after the money he has. He just has to fiddle and move it around the house to different money boxes, so god knows where his money is at any one time. (Apart from his wages jar which is out of his reach).

    I guess we’ll have to start thinking about it in the next couple of years, but it needs to be a way for him to realise doing stuff round the house is what he should be doing and not just for money.

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    • Wages are a really good idea! I used to worry about where my kids were storing their money and whether they would forget or lose it.
      My son used to earn money for doing the hoovering, which I was very happy for him to do, but he’s got fed up of doing it now, so the hoovering is back with me! I’m hoping one of the other kids will take it on soon.

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  10. I’m very similar to you. My children have been saving there pocket money to put together for some game thing I don’t really understand! Great post! xx

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  11. No I don’t give mine pocket money and it has worked well for us. I am really proud how our oldest has done financially with money at Uni.

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    • It’s interesting that you haven’t given pocket money, but your son is doing well with managing his money at university. No wonder you’re proud of him.

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  12. I love hearing other people’s views as the age and amount differs so much from family to family. We gave Morgan pocket money from year 7, and he gets £1 a day (paid on a Friday). This has conditions attached such as any chores we ask him to do, not being cheeky etc. It has really worked well for him, and he is also a saver. And to be honest he doesn’t really ask for anything above his £7 a week. I will probably introduce the same for Katie when she goes to High School in September and will probably increase Morgans up slightly x

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